Sunday, May 29, 2011

Report Card: Whitecaps FC Versus New York Red Bulls

While it was not a poor performance for the Whitecaps in their 1-1 draw with the Red Bulls, it was definitely a frustrating one for the players, coaches and the supporters.  As tweeted by Benjamin Massey of 86 Forever, it was a game they should have but could have also easily lost. In this game like others the Whitecaps were not consistent in their play and in the few stretches where they did apply pressure there was no conversion.


Eric Hassli- The French striker was very dangerous against the Red Bulls as he, in addition to his goal scored on a penalty kick, had a couple of great opportunities to get a brace including one that was stopped by a great kick save by Sutton.  There is a solid chemistry building between Hassli, Camilo and Chiumineto in the builup to chances which just need to be finished.  GRADE:  B+

Camilo- Despite being stuck on three goals for quite some time, Camilo has been a constant threat when attacking the opposition in the final third.  He earned the penalty kick with his pace, the second he has earned this season, and gave the Red Bull’s backline fits all match long with his dangerous runs into the box.  GRADE:  B+

Omar Salgado- After coming in for Camilo with less than ten minutes to go, Salgado was unable to get a feel for the game.  He chased down the ball and put pressure on the opposing defenders but was able to get into scoring positions due to lack of time.  GRADE:  C+


Davide Chiumiento- The Swiss born midfielder continues to prove that he is the most creative player on the pitch with plays like his back heel pass to Camilo that earned a penalty for the Whitecaps only goal.  What makes his recent play even better is his new found commitment to tracking back on the defensive side of the pitch.  While he isn’t the best at defending there is more effort displayed.  GRADE:  B+

Gershon Koffie- It was another typical strong performance by the Ghanaian teenager in the midfield as he made a number of solid tackles in the match and kept the Red Bull midfielders quiet.  While he did display strong distribution there were times when the ball was given away too easily.  GRADE:  B

Terry Dunfield- In his final performance before the Gold Cup, Dunfield made some improvements in his play from the previous few matches.  He did not give away the ball in dangerous spots and assisted in keeping their midfield tight.  He definitely looked worn down on the breakaway as he did not have the pace to convert the scoring chance.  GRADE: B

Shea Salinas- There is no doubt that Salinas was dangerous, especially in the first 20-25 minutes of the match, when cutting in on the defenders as he got into the box regularly but was unable to maintain it over the full match with his fitness not at 100%.  While he attempted a number of crosses towards the box, there was a lack of quality as the crosses rarely found his teammates.  GRADE:  B-

Russell Teibert- The young Canadian was the first substitute in the match for Whitecaps, coming on for Salinas, but was unable to make a positive impact for the team.  Teibert had a couple of moments when he displayed his pace and quality crosses but there were few opportunities as the Whitecaps did not play the ball wide late in the match.  GRADE:  C+

Nizar Khlafan- Another substitute who was unable to make a difference, Khalfan came on for Chiumiento with about 15 minutes to go in the second half.  Unlike the last few games where he played forward, in this match he played wide on the right side but like Teibert the Caps were unable to get Khalfan the ball in the right spots.  GRADE:  C+


Jay DeMerit- As he slowly comes to full speed from his groin injury, DeMerit is proving why the Caps used their allocation spot on the American international.  He is a very physical tackle which some referees might see as dirty and is rarely out of position which keeps the opposition’s attack out of sync.  A few more games for DeMerit and the few mistakes by the backline will be a thing of the past for the Whitecaps.  GRADE:  B+

Alain Rochat- With the captian’s return to the team, Rochat is finding his place on the backline.  While he did not go on the attack regularly, he did have a couple of runs as the Caps looked for another score.  Rochat was responsible for the only as he was marking Rodgers on the play but it was his foot being inadvertently stepped on by the striker which caused the defender to take a tumble.  GRADE:  B

Wes Knight- Starting in the place of Jonathan Leathers, Knight probably had his best defensive performance as a starter playing in the right back position.  With Red Bulls playing Agudelo wide on the left side, Knight had the task of marking the young American sensation which he did admirably.  GRADE:  B-

Greg Janicki- The Whitecaps don’t require much in Janicki’s play and are only looking for solid defensive play.  He did have some questionable decisions when making a couple of clearing attempts but overall Janicki is settling into his starting role alongside of DeMerit.  More than likely there will be a rotation with Mouloud Akloul for the spot so Janicki needs to perform every match. GRADE:  B-


Jay Nolly- Several weeks ago it seemed that Nolly’s confidence was beginning to wane and it was affecting his play between the posts.  However in the last few starts he is showing his form from last year when he was named goalkeeper of the year in Division 2.  In addition to his strong command of the box on set plays, he made a great stop late in the first half after the Red Bulls had tied the score and late in the match tipped the ball over the bar to preserve the one point. GRADE:  B+


In the first twenty five minutes of the match it seemed like the Whitecaps had figured out the Red Bulls as they came close to scoring on one of top teams in MLS.  While eventually they did score on Hassli’s penalty kick, it was those missed opportunities before the score that kept the Caps from collecting three points.  The Whitecaps, in each of their games, have had multiple stretches where they carried the majority of play but came up empty handed without a score.  If there was a goal or two converted in those stretches, it would’ve easily translated into a few more victories and moved the Caps higher in the standings.  Vancouver now will be on a three game road trip which starts on Wednesday in Los Angeles where they will face Chivas USA before heading to Rio Tinto next weekend and face Real Salt Lake.  GRADE:  B

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